Venice: April 1584

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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'Venice: April 1584', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894), pp. 87-92. British History Online [accessed 25 June 2024].

. "Venice: April 1584", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894) 87-92. British History Online, accessed June 25, 2024,

. "Venice: April 1584", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894). 87-92. British History Online. Web. 25 June 2024,

April 1584

April 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 207. Vicenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to Doge and Senate.
After his Majesty's departure for the Escurial, where he will make his devotions in retreat as usual, the English gentleman suddenly left for Franco. He was Very ill pleased that he never succeeded in obtaining an audience, though he repeatedly requested it. The reasons alleged are various. Among others they say that the Englishman was not an Ambassador from the Queen, but a creature of the Treasurer. Others affirm that it was resolved to treat him as the Queen had treated Mendoza, whom she refused to receive even on taking his leave. On the first arrival of the Englishman he declined to leave his letters of credit with Don Juan d'Idiaquez, nor would he name the object of his mission, though frequently asked to do so on his Majesty's behalf. He pleaded the express order of the Queen which forbade him to treat with any one but his Majesty. Thereupon, Idiaquez, by the King's orders, said that his Majesty knew quite well what were his instructions, but he also knew that his own Ambassador spoke the truth and therefore, he gave absolute credence to all that he had written, accordingly it was unnecessary for him to receive any other account of the matter.
This answer, in spite of its severity, did not prevent the Englishman, to the great wonder of all, from insisting in his request, so that finally Idiaquez said to him that it was generally believed that he had no credentials at all and that his Majesty was not in the habit of granting audience unless letters had been shown to the person appointed to receive them, and on no other terms would his Majesty grant an audience. This Englishman is held here for a great heretic. He belongs to the sect of the Puritans, who are worse than the Calvinists, nor were there wanting those who secretly urged that he should be handed over to the Inquisition. He lived here very meanly, with only three attendants, nor was he visited by any Ambassador or Minister except the French Ambassador, a fact of general comment. The Imperial Ambassador asked my opinion as to visiting him. I replied that that was a question for the Ambassador to decide; if he began all would follow. As a matter of fact the Englishman was no Ambassador in the accepted sense. Immediately on his arrival he sent a servant to me. I replied in like manner each time he did so, which was thrice. His movements have been the subject of constant observation, but not more so than those of us other Ambassadors in order to note our conduct. He has gone towards France, and will report in his own sense. I can say nothing more till the arrival of Don Bernardino. Any decision to be taken here must depend upon the result of the negotiations at Constantinople. For the King will not embark on an enterprise of importance until he is assured of the attitude of Turkey.
Madrid, 1st April 1584.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 208. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days after I sent my last despatch, the French Ambassador had an audience of the Pasha. On his return he told me he had spoken at length on the subject of England. The Grand Chancellor was present and showed himself very favourable; all the same the Ambassador thought I would do well to offer him 400 ducats as an encouragement to continue this attitude to the cause, as his help would be of great use. The Ambassador said that he had orders to spend no money, but he knew that I was empowered to do so. He also told me that although the Pasha, had sought to quiet him exhorting him not to persist in this demand, yet he thought that if I were to offer a good, sum the case would not he desperate, I, remembering your orders not to communicate my power to bribe to this Ambassador, said I would do all I could to help the Ambassador, but that as for offering money, I had. neither authority nor orders to do so from your Serenity.
The Ambassador replied laughing “If your Lordship will look in your despatches you will find them.” I answered that I had carefully read my despatches, and that he might rest assured that the fact was as I stated. When he saw that I spoke in earnest he showed great surprise, and remained silent for a time. Then he began again, and mentioned the name of the French Ambassador in Venice, then suddenly regretted the word that had escaped him, but kept on muttering to himself. This made me suspect that he might have been informed of your instructions to me, and, in alarm lest he should have said something to the. Pasha, I resolved, to visit the latter in order to see how to conduct myself. Accordingly on Tuesday I asked for an audience, and having obtained it, I proceeded to say that I was sorry his doctor Benveniste was not present, as I frequently desired to say something to his Magnificence which I had to abandon for want of a confidential person with whom to communicate, as I did not like to importance him with any demands for audience. The Pasha replied that I never importuned him, and that without the intervention of the Doctor I could say to him, whatever I phased, that out of regard for me, he was willing to do anything he could for me. I replied that in those circumstances I would speak to him freely, being sure that what I said would go no further. I then said that, on other occasions I had spoken of the discontent of the French at the admission of the English to this Porte, and had exhorted his Magnificence to prefer the old to the new alliance, but now I wish to add, that I knew his object was to increase the Sultan's revenues, as every good Minister was hound to do, and desired to point out to him that with the coming of the English the revenues would suffer, for the English carried little cloth and much linen (carisee (fn. 1) ) which has a low tariff; this would lower the import of cloth by the Venetians from which the Sultan used to draw large revenues. Further, most of the goods which the English would bring are brought now by the French and Venetians. The price of cloth has gone up not down since the English came. The English, if they get a footing, will aim at a monopoly of linen and would then fix their own price. Besides all this, on their home journey they take to piracy, which is the reason why Venice did not desire to see them in these, waters.
The Pasha listened, with great attention, and made me repeat some of my arguments. He then said, that from the very first he had always endeavoured to upset the arrangement, but that he never could succeed, in persuading the Sultan, who was resolved never to expel any who came to seek his friendship. That all the same he had willingly heard what, I had to say, and would not fail, at the right time, to repeat it all to the Sultan, though he thought there was little hope. I did not omit to press him, begging him to embrace the cause with vigour, and assuring him that if he would, do so, we could not fail, in which case your Serenity would be most grateful; and if the English Ambassador were dismissed, and left Turkey, I would venture to cause your Serenity in sign of affection, to give him a present of five thousand sequins and of this he might rest assured (che quando fosse licentiato, et partito qaesto Ambasciatore, che mi bastava l'animo di far che la Serenità Vostra, per le sue fatiche le haveria in segno di amore donato m/5 sechini, et che questo yo promettevo sicuramente). At this offer the Magnificent Pasha's face brightened, and laughing he said that he would use all his authority, and he prayed God that he might be able to give me this satisfaction. (Il Magnifico Bassà a questa offerta fece wn' allegrissima faceia, et ridendo disse che egli non mancarà di fare ogni suo potere et che pregava dio di potermi dare questo, sodisfattione.)
The Pasha then requested the release of a certain Mahomet, prisoner in Venice, bat the Ambassador replied that the Republic had already pledged its word to the relations of those Christians who had been taken at Famagosta (to hold him as a hostage). The Pasha answered that the Republic ought to set Mahomet at liberty and that his women would not leave the Pasha in peace, but importuned him every day.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 3rd April 1514.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 209. Giovanni Francesco Moresini. Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The secret business which I suspected that the French Ambassador had to conduct with the Aga of the Janizzaries was in support of Don Antonio of Portugal, as I am well informed, and the Ambassador himself did not deny it. Christiano Vento, a proveneal gentleman in the service of the Queen-Mother, and now Consul in Alexandria, arrived here and had a long interview with the Ambassador, for whom he brought instructions as to English maiters.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 3rd April 1584.
[Italian, deciphered.]
April 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 210. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Bernardino di Mendoza had audience on Sunday. He merely kissed hands. He is to leave for Flanders unless he obtains permission to return to Spain on private affairs caused by the death of his brother. The Scotch Ambassador was commissioned to treat of the marriage of his King with the Princess of Lorraine. But little attention has been paid him as yet, chiefly on account of the religious question. This may be the reason why the Ambassador has shown himself so extremely Catholic, and has asserted that his master is really Catholic in his innermost soul, and will prove it on fit occasion. The Queen of England dislikes this negotiation extremely, and her Ambassador left a few days ago for Chateau Thierry to confer with her Highness (the Queen-Mother) and to see whether this new matrimonial alliance could not be hindered. The gentleman sent by the Queen of England into Spain, to account for the dismissal of Mendoza, came back here on Wednesday. He was refused an audience by the King, who was displeased at the whole proceeding, and was put off with words. He saw this, and told Idiaquez he would leave, which he has done. As soon as he has seen his Majesty he will go to England.
I have just heard that Mendoza left yesterday; his destination is supposed to be Flanders.
Paris, 13th April 1584.
April 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 211. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mendoza really left for Spain, though he spread false rumours, probably to avoid any danger on the road, a thing he professes to expect at the hands of the Queen of England.
Paris, 14th April 1584.
April 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 212. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day the French Ambassador has had an audience of the Pasha He presented Vento, the Consul in Alexandria. Vento gave to his Magnificence two beautiful watches and six robes of silk. He has brought letters from his Sovereign.
The French Ambassador made fresh complaints against the English Ambassador; causing the Consul to repeat to the Pasha the words used by the King of France. The Consul assured the Pasha that the King was deeply offended on this score, and made most vigorous representations for the removal of the English Ambassador. The Pasha replied that although he would not fail to report to the Sultan, yet he did not wish to cheat them with false hopes. It was all labour lost to expect that the Sultan would expel that Ambassador (era il travagliar indarno il sperare che S. Mtà. debbia seacciare questo Ambassador). All this the French Ambassador himself told the immediately after his audience.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 23rd April 1584.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 213. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of Navarre met her husband on the 13th instant at Nerac. She was kindly received by him; and they say that to please his wife he has let himself be persuaded to attend mass. (Ch' egli per compiacer alla Moglie si habbia lasciato indurre d'intervenire alla Messa.) If this be true, without doubt it is the result of the hope he entertains of succeeding to this Crown. (Il che quando sia, vero, è senza, dubbio effetto che opera in lui la speranza di poter succedere a questa Corona.)
Paris, 27th April 1584.
April 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 214. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of Scotland had a second audience of his Majesty yesterday. The King has ordered his Ambassador in England to go to Scotland to return the compliments and perhaps to make the Queen of England jealous, as she is already suspicious that these two Kings are plotting something to her hurt. She recently sent to Claude Hamilton, a man of large following, but in exile on suspicion of rebellion, the Sum of twenty thousand pounds sterling, that is, about fifty thousand ducats (m/20 lire di sterlini, che sono Ca m/50 ducati), in order that he may be ready to make a move. But the King of France who desires peace will confine himself to words; and the Queen will not embroil herself in new difficulties without a sufficient cause.
The Palatine Laschi, who was honourably received in England last year, after living in great splendour and contracting many debts, has fled from the island.
Paris, 27th April 1584.


  • 1. See Ceccheeti, La Vita dei Veneziani not 300. Le Vesii Venezia 1886, p. 56.